“The Canyons” can't catch a break. The movie starring Lindsay Lohan, and written by Bret Easton Ellis, has been rejected by SXSW. With this latest rejection it raises the question, how much of a disaster is “The Canyons?”
Plenty of movies have been generating great buzz due to the Sundance Film Festival. Movies such as “Upstream Color,” “Before Midnight,” “Stoker,” “Escape From Tomorrow,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “The Way Way Back,” “Austenland,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “Don Jon’s Addiction” and “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman” have all garnered enthusiastic press of late after premiering at Sundance. Some of these movies have been acquired for millions of dollars.
“The Canyons,” in contrast, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, including leaked audio of Lohan yelling at her co-star James Deen and a poorly received clip revealed last week, “The Canyons” was originally rejected by Sundance and it has since been rejected by another film festival.
The Hollywood Reporter got the scoop on “The Canyons” being rejected by SXSW. Apparently the movie has plenty of problems and won’t be the comeback Lohan may have hoped for. THR calls the movie an “erotic thriller” and “The Canyons” is being compared to “Showgirls” as perhaps one of the biggest movie disasters of all time. There has been plenty of publicity surrounding the film including the high-profile involvement of Lohan and Ellis, of “American Psycho” infamy.
It seems not even vast amounts of Lohan nudity can garner interest in “The Canyons” as the SXSW source told THR that the film’s poor quality ruled it out. In addition to the high-profile festival rejections “The Canyons” also had to deal with a very troubling piece in The New York Times Magazine and poorly received trailers and clips. Paul Schrader, the film’s director, has come out to defend his movie.
According to Schrader, “The Canyons” did not need Sundance to generate buzz, it had plenty already, and it was not ready in time for the festival anyhow. While that may be true, films at Sundance can also land a distribution deal which would allow a studio to be committed to “The Canyons” and guarantee a return on their investment. Furthermore, the estimated $250,000 budget, according to IMDB, should be easy to swallow.
Schrader, in a post on “The Canyons” Facebook page, said, “The intense reactions to 'Liz and Dick' [another Lohan flop] and the Times Mag article have made us realize that there will be an immediate blowback once 'The Canyons' is publically screened--for good and ill. That's the nature of anything involving Lindsay (plus BEE and JD, who also elicit visceral reactions). Therefore, when the film is shown it should also be available VOD and limited theatrical. That way the curious can see the film for themselves. I am told it takes 3-4 months to organize a proper VOD release. After Sundance we'll screen the film for multi-platform distributors and set the process in motion. In a way it's good we're not at Sundance. We weren't prepared, we weren't organized.”
Naturally, the SXSW rejection is not public information just yet and Braxton Pope, the film’s producer, said he was still awaiting official word from SXSW, reports THR.
The most recent clip from "The Canyons" can be viewed below.